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Old 08-05-2008, 07:29   #1
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Best trade?

If you had to do it over and could spend time learning a trade before you sailed, what would it be?

Is there something that would be valued and usable worldwide?
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:50   #2
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My opinion is: 1) electrical. 2) diesel, 3) refrigiration. Reasons. 1) Electrical problems are the most common on a boat and people are afraid of it so you can charge the most. 2) diesel is very important to people and takes an expertise beyond the level of many people once you get past the basics, and 3) Refigirations. If the Admiral is happy the crew is happy. Enough said.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:07   #3
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Thank you for the input Charlie. Good points.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:14   #4
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diesel mechanic, refrigeration guru, 12 volt genius. These are the important things.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:21   #5
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Now I've seen mentioned somewhere about tools. As a traveling diesel mechanic I'm assuming one would need to carry all the tools possible. What types of trouble do people run into on the water that need to be fixed (relating to engines)? I grew up working on engines (have rebuilt several motorcycles, a jet ski, and I've virtually rebuilt all areas on my Jeep at one point or another...but I know NOTHING about the guts of a diesel).
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:30   #6
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Macopa,

Carry the same tools you would carry to rebuild any engine. Some have managed to supplement their income along the way. Some have managed to go from broke to extending their time cruising.
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Old 08-05-2008, 08:58   #7
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Thank you for the input. As I plan on working for the next 8-10 months before leaving (and considering I'm pretty bored with my current job) I am going to look into working at a boat yard or similar. Truth be told that would probably suit me much more than what I'm doing now and maybe I can pick up that knowledge of diesel/electric that I'm lacking. I really appreciate the advice.
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Old 16-05-2008, 05:27   #8
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Hey!

I too would say electrics. I've spent the past 9 years in the marine electronic business as a service technitian, starting out on submarines in the navy for a couple of years, then 2 years travelling around Europe, servicing and installing electronics on tankers, ferries, leasure boats etc. And now finally on pilot boats. My experience is never to tell anyone around the harbour what I'm doing, or I'll be flooded with work. So, for my planned cruise, I hope I'll be able to make a few extra bucks.

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Old 16-05-2008, 08:49   #9
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Hey!

I too would say electrics. I've spent the past 9 years in the marine electronic business as a service technitian, starting out on submarines in the navy for a couple of years, then 2 years travelling around Europe, servicing and installing electronics on tankers, ferries, leasure boats etc. And now finally on pilot boats. My experience is never to tell anyone around the harbour what I'm doing, or I'll be flooded with work. So, for my planned cruise, I hope I'll be able to make a few extra bucks.

/Hampus
Thank you Hampus. Good info to know. I'm going to look into what programs are offered around here...
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Old 17-05-2008, 12:25   #10
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Thank you for the input. As I plan on working for the next 8-10 months before leaving (and considering I'm pretty bored with my current job) I am going to look into working at a boat yard or similar. Truth be told that would probably suit me much more than what I'm doing now and maybe I can pick up that knowledge of diesel/electric that I'm lacking. I really appreciate the advice.
The local community college has a reasonably priced two course diesel mechanics curriculum. There has to be something like this available in your area. This would give you proper training and perhaps the sheepskin that they would give you would instill confidence in your abilities on the part of the customers.
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Old 19-05-2008, 08:00   #11
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I have looked into that actually. There is a pretty good program at "Marine Mechanics Institute" but it's in Orlando which is a little far for me to drive. The local does offer a good "Marine Mechanics" program but I don't think there are any certs involved OR any super specific training. It sems to generally go over everything from 2 stroke, 4 stroke, deisel, electrical, lifts, etc... I need to look further into what exactly is involved.
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Old 19-05-2008, 08:33   #12
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Mechanical trades won't serve you near as well as medical credentials. An RN or any specialist can earn real money and have few Visa problems almost any place you go. No place has enough medically skilled professionals even in very developed countries. You can travel almost everywhere and find work. Diesel mechanics make regular prervailing wages and are everywhere on the planet. If people don't make much money where you are you won't make much either.

That said being able to do your own work is never a bad trade to know. You just can't expect to make real money stealing jobs the locals know how to do. Boating related jobs can make pocket money if the customers are like yourself - cruisers with cash. You just need to stay low on the radar away from officials and locals that feel threatened by your efforts. Being an ilegal immigrant trying to work without a Visa is still a problem you need to be aware of.
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Old 19-05-2008, 08:56   #13
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Thank you Pblais. Do you think being a paramedic or EMT would work or are you talking about only the more intensive training (RN or similar)? I am begining to understand what the "working" I had in mind really is and what it could mean.
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Old 19-05-2008, 09:28   #14
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The more training you have the better and more valuable you can be. An RN is almost gold, but therapists also can do well too. LPN's and other specialties also are in great demand. Since I don't work in the medical field myself it's hard for me to say what the lowest level might be that would work.

I do know an Anesthesiologist that can work within 24 hours of hopping off the boat if there is a hospital near by. They cruise full time and work very little. Thinking in terms of what locals need is more advantageous than trying to compete for local jobs that don't pay well - you might get one!
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Old 20-05-2008, 09:56   #15
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Not a trade really (a profession), but grabbing a BS in electrical engineering, with some ME cross-training would give you a good 'liberal arts' background for fixing all manner of things.

Plus, demand is almost always high, and you can usually secure a solid upper-middle class salary when not cruising.

Assuming of course, that you're not willing to go through 4 years of college, 4 years of graduate school, 1 year of internship and 3 years of residency to become a licensed MD. That really would give you the most options.
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